Straight front, washed out colors and improper colors that are not in the standard. 3. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Over grooming, coloring coats and trying to move the dog with its head up. 4. Cropped or uncropped ears? Do undocked tails affect judging? My personal preference is cropped ears, but in judging it is one of the last things. Tail is to be cropped until the standard is changed. 5. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? Getting too small and losing bone and substance. 6. Has your Bouvier competed in performance events? I have Bouviers that are conformation and obedience champions, as well as high in agility trials. 7. What previously campaigned Bouvier come close to your ideal? Please explain. There have been some wonderful dogs over the years; the one that sticks out is Ch Leevy Astra La Petite Colline that excelled in substance, movement and temperament. 8. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? Some North American dogs have been top dogs in the world. 9. What sets the Bouvier apart from the Black Russian and Giant Schnauzer? I believe the temperament of the Bouvier sets it apart. 10. Do you have anything else to share? The Bouvier is an ideal, wonderful family dog that is very intelligent and loves to please—he is also good with children. NANCY EILKS 1. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. Square and cobby build. Harsh coat. Easy and efficient movement. Appearance of power yet agile. Intelligent expression. 2. What, if anything, do you feel non-breeder judges get wrong about the breed? The proper coat is difficult to understand. The harshness properly stripped. I also see a lot of poor movement and lack of good physical condition being rewarded. 3. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? There is too much trimming and fluffing, but more annoying is having the dogs gait around the ring too fast with their heads held up high. 4. Cropped or uncropped ears? Do undocked tails affect judging?
I am a traditionalist and personally like the cropped and docked look of the breed. That said, I have shown and bred many that have not been cropped. I have seen undocked Bouviers in performance events but have yet to see an undocked Bouvier shown to me. I would find it hard to look at, but if the set is proper and carriage reasonable, I don’t believe I could disregard a good dog for such a man-made fault. 5. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What’s better? Proper coat preparation is giving way to clipping and scissoring. A good coat can survive such treatment, but a marginal coat cannot be improved by these methods. Too much use of product in the coats is starting to show up. Lack of balance in movement is becoming the norm. Heads and bites have improved. Light eyes are rarely seen. Size has gone from being too big, to being too small and seems to have moderated. 6. Has your Bouvier competed in performance events? Did that experience affect judging decisions? Can today’s show Bouvier still perform the functions for which he was bred? In years past, my husband and I have trained in obedi- ence and some Schutzhund. We worked our show dogs. Some of my dogs are too large and less agile, but could still do the work. Some of today’s show dogs are not bal- anced enough to hold up for a long day of work. If the dog being shown today has the willingness to work, he would still be able to do the job. Some of that drive is missing. 7. What previously campaigned Bouvier come close to your ideal? Please explain. Early on in our showing, we saw a dog called Beaucrest Ruffian and the look of that dog is what comes to my mind as the ideal. He was moderate in all aspects, cobby and powerful looking. He had a confidence and presence that stuck with me. 8. How does the breed in North America compare to other parts of the world? Mostly the breed looks different due to the grooming. Underneath they are not all that different. The American dogs may tend to be heavier and shown in poorer condition. 9. What sets the Bouvier apart from the Black Russian and Giant Schnauzer? The Black Russian is larger, softer coated and a more high-powered dog. They also carry more angulation than the Bouvier. The Giant Schnauzer is quite different in the head, being rectangular where the Bouvier is more square. They are narrower in body and elegant. Elegant is not a word used to describe a Bouvier. 10. Do you have anything else to share? So much of our breed, as with other breeds, is about the character of the breed. Please do not accept poor temperament. Also, please DO go over the dogs, but they
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